G-SYNC 101: Control Panel


G-SYNC Module

The G-SYNC module is a small chip that replaces the display’s standard internal scaler, and contains enough onboard memory to hold and process a single frame at a time.

The module exploits the vertical blanking interval (the span between the previous and next frame scan) to manipulate the display’s internal timings; performing G2G (gray to gray) overdrive calculations to prevent ghosting, and synchronizing the display’s refresh rate to the GPU’s render rate to eliminate tearing, along with the delayed frame delivery and adjoining stutter caused by traditional syncing methods.

G-SYNC Demo

The below Blur Busters Test UFO motion test pattern uses motion interpolation techniques to simulate the seamless framerate transitions G-SYNC provides within the refresh rate, when directly compared to standalone V-SYNC.

G-SYNC Activation

“Enable for full screen mode” (exclusive fullscreen functionality only) will automatically engage when a supported display is connected to the GPU. If G-SYNC behavior is suspect or non-functioning, untick the “Enable G-SYNC, G-SYNC Compatible” box, apply, re-tick, and apply.

Blur Buster's G-SYNC 101: Control Panel

G-SYNC Windowed Mode

“Enable for windowed and full screen mode” allows G-SYNC support for windowed and borderless windowed mode. This option was introduced in a 2015 driver update, and by manipulating the DWM (Desktop Windows Manager) framebuffer, enables G-SYNC’s VRR (variable refresh rate) to synchronize to the focused window’s render rate; unfocused windows remain at the desktop’s fixed refresh rate until focused on.

G-SYNC only functions on one window at a time, and thus any unfocused window that contains moving content will appear to stutter or slow down, a reason why a variety of non-gaming applications (popular web browsers among them) include predefined Nvidia profiles that disable G-SYNC support.

Note: this setting may require a game or system restart after application; the “G-SYNC Indicator” (Nvidia Control Panel > Display > G-SYNC Indicator) can be enabled to verify it is working as intended.

G-SYNC Preferred Refresh Rate

“Highest available” automatically engages when G-SYNC is enabled, and overrides the in-game refresh rate selector (if present), defaulting to the highest supported refresh rate of the display. This is useful for games that don’t include a selector, and ensures the display’s native refresh rate is utilized.

“Application-controlled” adheres to the desktop’s current refresh rate, or defers control to games that contain a refresh rate selector.

Note: this setting only applies to games being run in exclusive fullscreen mode. For games being run in borderless or windowed mode, the desktop dictates the refresh rate.

G-SYNC & V-SYNC

G-SYNC (GPU Synchronization) works on the same principle as double buffer V-SYNC; buffer A begins to render frame A, and upon completion, scans it to the display. Meanwhile, as buffer A finishes scanning its first frame, buffer B begins to render frame B, and upon completion, scans it to the display, repeat.

The primary difference between G-SYNC and V-SYNC is the method in which rendered frames are synchronized. With V-SYNC, the GPU’s render rate is synchronized to the fixed refresh rate of the display. With G-SYNC, the display’s VRR (variable refresh rate) is synchronized to the GPU’s render rate.

Upon its release, G-SYNC’s ability to fall back on fixed refresh rate V-SYNC behavior when exceeding the maximum refresh rate of the display was built-in and non-optional. A 2015 driver update later exposed the option.

This update led to recurring confusion, creating a misconception that G-SYNC and V-SYNC are entirely separate options. However, with G-SYNC enabled, the “Vertical sync” option in the control panel no longer acts as V-SYNC, and actually dictates whether, one, the G-SYNC module compensates for frametime variances output by the system (which prevents tearing at all times. G-SYNC + V-SYNC “Off” disables this behavior; see G-SYNC 101: Range), and two, whether G-SYNC falls back on fixed refresh rate V-SYNC behavior; if V-SYNC is “On,” G-SYNC will revert to V-SYNC behavior above its range, if V-SYNC is “Off,” G-SYNC will disable above its range, and tearing will begin display wide.

Within its range, G-SYNC is the only syncing method active, no matter the V-SYNC “On” or “Off” setting.

Currently, when G-SYNC is enabled, the control panel’s “Vertical sync” entry is automatically engaged to “Use the 3D application setting,” which defers V-SYNC fallback behavior and frametime compensation control to the in-game V-SYNC option. This can be manually overridden by changing the “Vertical sync” entry in the control panel to “Off,” “On,” or “Fast.”



2321 Comments For “G-SYNC 101”

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
darg-
Member
darg-

So, from what I’ve seen and am trying to understand, every game that I can, I should limit to 163fps since I have a 165Hz g-sync compatible monitor. I should then also set NVCP v-sync to always on, or per application?

So far in games where I get well above my refresh rate, like 250+ fps, turning g-sync off (for my monitor it’s labeled “Adaptive-Sync -> ON (G-SYNC Compatible)”) makes the game have a noticeable difference in responsiveness/smoothness, idk.

Basically, so far what I’ve been doing is in more intensive games where I get below 165 fps, I turn g-sync on, and in games where my fps is above 200 about, I turn it off.

Zinzin
Member
Zinzin

Hello, thanks for the guide, it is very well done

I have however two additional questions :

I am using a legion 5 pro with 165hz display and rtx3060;

– In a game where my fps is below 162 say 110 but gpu usage stays around 70%, should I put a fps cap? (There are rare dips to 90 fps and 100% usage though)

– Applying all the settings you mentioned I still experience ghosting and blur as soon as I move camera a little fast (wiggling from left to right makes everything a mess) – I can upload a video if needed.
Is there anything I can do to fix this or should I just get an external monitor (with ULMB I imagine?)

MetAlbertR
Member
MetAlbertR

Hi, thank you for the guide.

I understand what to do with games where I can set an exact fps limit (in-game or with a config file), e.g. I set 162fps for my 165Hz monitor.

However, what do I do with games that only allow setting specific refresh rates in game? For example, the Lego games allow me to set a refresh rate of 165Hz to match my monitor and the games will run happily at 165fps most of the time. As the in-game limit means it won’t exceed 165fps, should I just leave it at that, or should I also use the Nvidia Max Frame Rate setting on top to limit it to 162fps?

Alternatively, would it be beneficial to set the game to a lower refresh (eg. 144Hz), as a substitute for not being able to set -3fps in-game?

Am I right in thinking that what some games refer to as a refresh rate setting is really an fps limit?

TheNoor
Member
TheNoor

Hi Jorimt! Thanks for the excellent guide. After reading it many times and having searched through several thousands of these comments and countless other webpages I was able to only find one other user who had a comparable question such as I’m about to ask. My situation is still a bit different so here goes: your guide seems to somewhat imply games where framerates remain within gsync range (meaning gsync compatible freesync) or above as it primarily mentions preventing going over max refresh. But how about poorly optimized games that vary from 100fps to 20fps? Let’s say I’m a cheapskate and bought a 60hz gsync compatible monitor with a freesync range from 40-60 without LFC just to play the hot mess that is star citizen. In this case when setting your trusted gsync + vsync on (off in game) + 57fps limit and the fps would dip below 40 what would be the expected behaviour? Would standard vsync just kick in effectively locking fps to half refresh, and would that be half of 60hz or half of 40hz? In star citizen specifically I can’t seem to get anything but 57fps or 30fps using these settings which leads me to believe vsync is being applied at all times, disregarding gsync. Enabling fast sync does seem to override the vsync mode though, but gives expected results with some micro stutter as you’ve explained in your guide. In other poorly optimized games where I set gsync + vsync on (off ingame) + 57fps limit I seem to be able to have framerates anywhere between 30 and 40 fps which leads me to believe some sort of triplish frame buffering is still going on somewhere, or is this expected gsync behaviour under 40fps?

Tl;dr

What’s the expected behaviour of gsync+vsync+fps limit when below freesync range? And what might alter this expected behaviour?

vforvandettaa
Member
vforvandettaa

Thank you very much again. Now i understand better maybe u already explained well but because of my english i couldnt get it. So this is the deal: lets say my system can give me 135 fps without any drop (%99 of the time) so i have to -3 min fps and cap to 132. Or it gives me 115 i cap it to 112. Thats it right ? What fps gives me i just -3 and cap right ?

wpDiscuz